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6 Personal Training Business Models to Increase Your Earnings

Table of Contents

Understanding the different personal training business models is important for trainers wanting to increase their earnings and value. This knowledge allows you to identify the most effective strategies and approaches that match your skills and client needs, leading to greater success and satisfaction in your career.
This guide introduces six business models that will transform your personal training approach. You’ll gain straightforward insights into how each model works, how it connects with clients, and its financial benefits.
Whether you prefer the personal touch of one-on-one sessions, the vibrant energy of group workouts, or the convenience and reach of online training, this guide lays out clear steps to help you grow your fitness career.
By exploring these different models, you can discover new ways to expand your services and attract a larger client base. This increases your income potential and strengthens your reputation as a flexible, knowledgeable trainer.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right personal training business model is important for success; options range from traditional one-on-one to online and hybrid models, matching personal values and staying flexible to market trends.
  • Expanding personal training offerings through group and semi-private sessions can increase income potential and client retention by balancing personalization with affordability and growing community among participants.
  • You can train more clients from anywhere using online and hybrid coaching. Specializing in unique fitness areas can also give you an edge and boost your earnings in the fitness world.

How To Choose the Right Personal Training Business Model

Choosing the right personal training business model significantly influences your business’s success and financial stability. It affects the amount you can earn and client satisfaction levels.
Traditional one-on-one personal training income potential is capped by the number of hours you’re available to work, limiting your earning potential.
Testing different models, such as hybrid training, can allow you to expand your business without increasing your working hours. This can lead to higher income while maintaining or even improving the quality of service you provide to your clients.
Expanding your training services can improve marketability and attract more clients. Including different business models allows you to cater to different preferences and needs. Increasing client retention and satisfaction in the long run. This strategy boosts your income and reputation as a flexible and valuable personal trainer.
Successful personal trainers stand out by:

  • Setting their prices in a way that reflects their market position
  • Catering to the type of clients they want to attract
  • Value alignment with pricing increases business success

Aligning with Personal Goals and Values

Your personal training business model must reflect what’s important to you and support your long-term career goals. This approach helps you enjoy your work more and reduces the chance of feeling overwhelmed.
Developing a clear set of goals and researching the necessary training to meet your business ambitions can help you create a unique identity for your training business, ensuring it matches your aspirations.

Adapting to Market Trends and Client Needs

In addition to personal goals, trainers must learn market trends, and clients must stay competitive and relevant in the fitness industry. For instance, popular workouts like HIIT, functional fitness, and mind-body practices can attract and retain more clients.
Attention to client feedback helps personal training services understand changing market needs. With digital marketing, it’s important to stay active on social media and make decisions based on what the data tells you to connect with potential clients effectively.

1) One-on-One Personal Training

The one-on-one personal training model is the traditional foundation of personal training. These customized sessions are typically 30 to 60 minutes long and personalized to match the client’s unique goals and fitness needs. This model’s advantages include providing a high level of customization and one-on-one attention, leading to individualized workout plans that cater to a client’s goals.
Personal trainers can charge rates ranging from $40 to $100 per session for private one-on-one training, with an average rate of about $70 per hour-long session.

Customized Programs

The core of the model is customized programs in one-on-one training. Tailored workout plans created in one-on-one settings are based on the individual’s unique goals, fitness level, and consideration of any injuries or limitations. This personal touch often leads to faster achievement of fitness goals, providing a highly effective fitness solution.
The focus is on injury prevention, making sure exercises are performed with the correct form, preventing imbalances or weaknesses, and further increasing the value of customized programs.

Pricing Strategies

In a one-on-one training model, developing a pricing strategy is important. Understanding the local demographic and competition is necessary to set fair and competitive rates aligned with the services’ value. Offering different packages, such as three-, six-month, and 12-month commitments, can provide clients with flexible options and help trainers secure longer-term income.
Profit margins for personal training should be over 60%, including the session rates, coach pay, and operating costs.
See our post on “How much to charge for personal training” for more information and tips.

2) Group Training

Transitioning from one-on-one training, let’s look into group training. This model provides an accessible way for individuals to get the benefits of a personal trainer without the higher costs of one-on-one sessions while also creating a welcoming environment where participants can encourage and motivate each other.
Group classes typically offer the following benefits:

  • Lower cost per class, ranging from $10 to $20 per class
  • Opportunity for personal trainers to generate additional income
  • Sense of community and support among participants

It is important to note that the group training market is competitive, and trainers may face a potential price war with other trainers.

Structuring Group Classes

Structuring group classes involves:

  • Designing workouts with original class descriptions
  • Accommodating different fitness levels
  • Choosing user-friendly equipment
  • Picking exercises that match the class description
  • Using complete cues that are easily understandable, avoiding professional wording
  • Reminding participants to modify exercises as necessary to adjust to individual needs

By following these guidelines, instructors can create a better participant experience.
Creating fitness challenges and building friendships among group members can spark excitement, strengthen the group bond, and help keep clients coming back.
Take a look at some of our most popular group fitness programs.

Marketing and Upselling Opportunities

By introducing small-group training options, personal trainers can reach their financial targets while making their services available to more people. Using flexible payment options, such as pay-what-you-can classes, can make training accessible to those who might not afford the usual rates. Working with social media influencers can also help personal trainers gain more exposure and attract new clients, leading to additional sales and services.

3) Semi-Private Training

Semi-private training is a promising model that balances the exclusivity of one-on-one training and the community spirit of group training. In this model, trainers work with multiple clients in one session, blending personal and group training. This approach allows for a more dynamic and inclusive workout experience.
To increase potential earnings, limiting semi-private training sessions to a maximum of four clients per coach is ideal. Semi-private allows trainers to manage multiple clients at once, increasing their hourly income by combining the personalized attention of private sessions with the benefits of group training.

Balancing Personalization and Affordability

In semi-private training, trainers offer personalized workouts at a reduced cost per person, balancing the need for personal attention with affordability. A templated programming system can streamline the workflow and support customization according to individual client requirements.
Delivering personalized attention in a group is necessary for satisfying clients.

Client Retention Strategies

Retaining clients in semi-private training involves promoting accountability, offering flexible scheduling, and growing a sense of community. Maximizing the training schedule by offering multiple semi-private training times each day increases flexibility for clients, and variety can prevent client loss if a coach leaves the business.
The community aspect of semi-private training creates friendships and a support system among clients, while clear communication and real-time messaging can significantly contribute to higher client retention.
Check out some of the other ways you can retain your personal training clients.

4) Online Coaching

Moving away from traditional in-person training, online coaching moves personal training into the digital age with online training. This model involves offering personalized coaching services through online platforms, allowing for regular check-ins, customized workout plans, and nutritional guidance.
Advantages include flexible time management, international client recruitment, and the ability to automate processes to manage more clients.

Leveraging Technology

Using technology in online coaching makes everything simpler and more fun. It’s like having a high-tech helper to make workouts interesting. Fitness trackers and virtual reality workouts are examples that bring a new twist to exercise routines. These tools help keep everyone on track and motivated by showing progress and setting fun challenges. Plus, having a set of exercises that are easy to find and follow makes your coaching look top-notch and easy to use.

Building a Strong Online Presence

Building a strong online presence is a foundation of online coaching. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube help create a community around fitness, which can effectively market fitness classes.
Combining marketing methods, such as content creation, social media engagement, and community involvement, can increase an online training business’s presence and distinguish it from competitors.

5) Hybrid Training

As the name suggests, hybrid training combines the best of both worlds, blending in-person and online personal training services.
The hybrid personal training model provides clients with:

  • Hands-on support
  • Flexibility
  • Increased and more regular income
  • Improved client outcomes
  • A loyal community
  • A competitive edge in the market

Blending In-Person and Online Services

Blending in-person and online services in hybrid training involves using a templated system for programming and creating a community among clients. An online forum or group can form a sense of community for clients by connecting individuals with similar fitness goals.
Including chat functions for remote clients creates engagement during hybrid sessions.

Standing Out from the Competition

Fitness professionals need to stand out from the competition in hybrid personal training. Brand identity creation can set a hybrid training service apart and encourage client loyalty. Showcasing client testimonials and success stories can attract new clients by highlighting the benefits and effectiveness of the hybrid training approach.
Offering scheduling flexibility and different training frequency options can appeal to clients with busy or unpredictable lifestyles, making the service more attractive than less flexible competitors.

6) Niche Specializations

Niche specializations can unlock new market opportunities and increase profitability. These niches, such as stand-up paddleboarding, exercise for busy professionals, and personalized programs for specific groups like athletes, offer personal trainers opportunities to stand out.

Identifying Profitable Niches

Identifying profitable niches involves examining personal strengths, conducting market research, and catering to specific demographics or workout routines. Understanding the target audience’s ages, genders, and locations helps create a unique selling point  (USP) that differentiates a personal training business and communicates why potential clients should choose it over competitors.

Marketing and Branding Strategies

Once a niche is identified, effective marketing and branding strategies must be used. Brand differentiation helps personal trainers stand out from competitors by being memorable and unique to their target audience. To communicate their brand more effectively, personal trainers can use market research to understand what colors, messages, and platforms resonate with their niche market.
Building a community around fitness classes is a powerful marketing tactic for fitness businesses, as happy clients of a fitness business are likely to refer friends and leave positive reviews.


Understanding and choosing the right business model is the foundation of a successful personal training business. Each model has unique strengths and challenges: one-on-one, group, semi-private, online, hybrid, or a niche specialization.
By matching with personal goals, adapting to market trends, leveraging technology, and building a strong brand presence, personal trainers can maximize their earnings in the fitness industry. Choosing a model that aligns with your values, meets your client’s needs, and sets you apart in this competitive space is necessary.
Continuous learning is important when maintaining relevance and success in the personal training field. Staying informed about new fitness methods, client wellness trends, and business strategies will help you refine your chosen business model over time. This keeps your services fresh and engaging for clients and ensures you remain competitive. Embracing change can lead to growth and a more rewarding career as a personal trainer.

Can you make six figures as a personal trainer?

Yes, it’s possible to make six figures as a personal trainer with hard work, dedication, and a commitment to continuous learning and growth as a professional. With the right strategies, achieving this salary as a personal trainer is attainable.

Is personal training business profitable?

Personal training can be profitable, with an average yearly salary of around $60,000. However, standing out and building a strong reputation are necessary to earn more.

What type of business is best for personal trainers?

A corporate entity, such as a corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company (LLC), is best for personal trainers due to the physical nature of personal training and the risk of injury. This structure separates the business’s liabilities from personal assets.

What is a hybrid training model?

A hybrid training model combines in-person and online personal training, offering clients hands-on support and flexibility to meet their fitness goals.

How can I stand out in semi-private training?

To stand out in semi-private training, promote accountability, offer flexible scheduling, and create a sense of community for clients. These steps will help you retain clients and stand out in the market.

Meet The Author:

Parker Franklin

Parker, IFG’s Brand Manager since 2022, began his wellness journey in 2020, leading to a significant personal transformation. He holds a journalism degree from Murray State University and started his career as an award-winning journalist in western Kentucky before transitioning into marketing and PR. At IFG, Parker is responsible for writing content, managing The Fit newsletter, and overseeing promotions and collaborations with affiliate fitness organizations.